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Thread: Windows Movie Maker is the best you can get!

  1. Exclamation Windows Movie Maker is the best you can get!

    Dear everybody and sorry for the provocative title.

    My name is Gionata Nencini, I am 26 and I am here to start something useful yet entertaining.

    I was so excited to find this section (Video Editing: Software Problems and buying advice - Video Editing Forums: Digital Director) that I immediately wanted to write 1000 questions about what I needed to know the most.

    Then I thought that it would be better to introduce myself first and show all the expert video members here what I have done so far in terms of video recording and editing and, maybe after, ask a specific advice.

    So here I am, trying not to rush to abuse of everybody time and patience, with a following introduction:

    My name is Gionata Nencini, I am italian, 26 years old and since 2005 I have been riding the world solo on a 23 years old motorcycle.

    I keep a diary of my journey and, since 2006, I create movies and documentaries related to what-interest-my-followers-the-most.

    It's always been a one man work and it will always be. I learned many things on my own yet I couldn't find anything better (and cheaper) than WINDOWS MOVIE MAKER.

    So the 3 videos I present here to you in order to know my works, are obviously limited in effects and style, but they have good contents.

    Real contents, I must say....

    I use a 3ccd very cheap panasonic g-nv230

    So if you watch the video and you liked them, please get in contact with me here and help me to learn how to get to the next level.

    I would like to ask to some experts like you few thing (specific, but just mentioned below) few things about:

    • what camera to use
    • what is the best editing software to do what i do
    • how to import a mini-dv without loosing quality and compression
    • how to do better narration voice
    • how to create motions and animations with maps
    • how does it work to use music and rights on a video
    • how to put this movie in a DVD with the right quality
    • how to create a menu for this DVD
    • misc.

    Although I have published more than 1600 videos on youtube and released edited videos of 5-10 minutes each (which count 800000 visits on youtube), i still feel i am just playing around.

    Please convert me from a talent scout to a semi pro movie maker..

    Thanks to all of you, in advance.

    Gionata Nencini Il Portale del Viaggio Avventura

  2. Default

    is this place really forgotten?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by View Post
    is this place really forgotten?
    Not at all, but I can see four reasons why you may not have had a response yet:

    1. This isn't a high volume forum. you may not receive many comments but what you will receive will be of good quality.

    2. You've come in here and posted your own work for criticism. You haven't bothered to comment on anyone elses work. People here will nearly always prioritise commenting on people who give as well as take (I'm not saying you won't give - just that we haven't seen anything to suggest that from you yet)

    3. Your films are very good and I suspect you know that. This means either (a) you just want hits and/or praise or (b) even fewer of us feel able to constructively criticise what on the face of it is good work.

    4. You have posted 3 links to films in a section which clearly requests you paste one link per thread. So you've either not read the rules or chosen to ignore them.

    I'm not suggesting that you are anything other than a thoroughly decent chap, but just trying to point out that on the basis of your one and only post to the forum, people may not be queuing up to comment on your film.

    Personally, I watched about 5 mins of the first one and thought it was excellent. But there's little point in me posting that as it doesn't help answer your questions.

  4. Default

    Hi Tim and thanks for your straight forward reply.
    I really thought please here would have appreciated a bit of an introduction about my works (I wasn't looking for a criticism at all).
    The idea was to let users know what kinda works I do and then ask them to help me improve them.
    There is a dotted list which defines the actual reasons why I posted and register to this forum.
    Sorry if I did read correctly about the number of links to post and also if I didn't take the time to give my own critic to other works.
    I really don't feel qualified to do that as I have learned everything by my self (shooting included).
    I really hope this bad start will lead to a better relationship and maybe, once I get familiar with all of you, I cas start sharing my opinion about your works.
    In this post I was suggesting you all to get familiar with me and my works and feel free to explain some of the things I have listed at the end of the message.
    Best regards.
    Gionata Nencini

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    It's not a bad start. I doubt you've offended anyone. I was just suggesting why you may not have got any replies.

    The idea was to let users know what kinda works I do and then ask them to help me improve them.

    That's exactly what we call constructive criticism!

    However your quections are mainly of a technical nature and might be better placed in the "General Software" and "DVD Authoring" sections.


    • what camera to use

    Given your need to carry and mount in interesting ways, something small and solid state. Other than that - what's your budget? You seem to be getting very good results with your GS230. Anything you are likely to get will be AVCHD. This requires quite a bit of computing power to edit. Seriously, if you move to HD you will be in for a shock.

    • what is the best editing software to do what i do

    Ask five people here and you'll get 5 different answers. I'd suggest Sony Vegas Movie Studio Premium as a big step up from WMM. Others will suggest Adobe Premiere Elements. I'd suggest, if you're going with a PC, you stick to one of those two for consumer level editing. Unless you want to shell out a few hundred euros, that is.

    • how to import a mini-dv without loosing quality and compression

    You won't. You "capture" mini-dv by playing it in real-time via firewire. You will capture it bit-for-bit and not lose anything.

    • how to do better narration voice

    Quiet room with lots of soft furnishing to kill the reverb. Voice close to the mic. I use a solid state recorder (Zoom H2) which, whilst hardly high quality, gives surprisingly good results at my amateur level. If you have no budget, record into your camera and if possible turn off automatic gain control (jet make sure you set the level right or stand far enough away that you don't overload the gain.)

    • how to create motions and animations with maps

    This depends on what software you are using, but fundamentally you need two layers of video, one with the background map and one with the route. You gradually "unmask" the layer which has the route (how you do this depends on the software). Or you use a separate graphics program which can create animations.

    • how does it work to use music and rights on a video

    If you want to use other people's music on your video, you need their permission. This normally means paying, but there are also plenty of people who publish music on the internet and are happy for you to use it in amateur production. Search for "Kevin Macleod" and "Bill Cushman" on this forum.

    • how to put this movie in a DVD with the right quality

    DVD video uses the MPEG-2 format. There's loads of stuff about getting the best quality as there are choices to make - whether to use Variable or Constant Bit Rate and hwat bit rates to set. Much depends on how much you are trying to fit on one DVD.

    • how to create a menu for this DVD

    Buy a DVD authoring program. Honestly. Your editing software may well come with DVD authoring facilities.

    • misc.

    Most importantly - enjoy

  6. Default

    Hi Tim, and thank you again for taking the time to read all of my post and give detailed answers to it.

    I really appreciated i put you in the credit list for this brand new movie of mine to come...

    • Camera to use was a question intended to orient me towards a mini dv one or a HD one.

      I have always used mini dv one and, frankly, i don't know why. I heard a quality comment about it long ago and I sticked to it (they say mini dv is still better quality than hd).

      But isn't HD recording even faster when you move it from the camera to the pc?

      I have to re watch my whole movies just to import them from mini dv to my pc and it's take hours and hours....

      I got my panasonic gs 230 for 200 NZD new and it's cheap and simple, but I'd like to invest a bit more on a still-small camera which records in HDV and maybe let me benefit of better gadgets (bluetooth microphone, flash light for night recording and cats eye mode)

      Which one would you recommend?
    • So far I tried WMV, Camstasia, Vegas (it was pretty good) and Premiere. The only thing is that I need some pre sets or templates to work with a certain rithm and by saying this I mean that with WMV i can easily create a draft title in 2 secs and than make it better later, when in Premiere istead there are so many things to set that creating a bloody fade in fade out tiel takes me one hour. Would I find templates for vegas and premiere to download? Like titles, effects, animations and so on?
    • For importation I meant that WMV asks you in what bit rate you want the movie to be imported from the mini dv to the HD.
      I would love to get the highest definition, but we are talking about 12 GB for each hour of recording. And the quality still is 740 x something pixel...
      Isn't there a software that import from HD cameras or, in my case, MINI DV ones, which import with a DVD movie specific kinda bitrate?
    • For this part of my doubts I have to ask: can a software and a stereo amplifier do the trick even if you use a 5 dollars mic? or is the mic the most important part? i'd like to get the very clear and sound as we hear in natgeo documentary...
    • What kinda software would you recommend to get a nice semi pro map animation?
    • I will surely contact them about the music, but I have a question about paying for permission. Is there a database online I can apply for a song or more songs permissions to buy?
      And is te author of the songs agree for me to use it (if he is a friend for ex.) is that all right or do I need to pay anyway for broadcasting permission?
    • the idea would be to release this movie in a dvd people can buy and watch it at home, by using any sorts of dvd player....
    • ok, so it sould come with premiere or vegas i suppose...
    • i do enjoy a lot as I enjoyed your advice.

    Talk to you soon.


    Gionata Nencini

  7. #7


    Hi Gionata
    I'll address some of your points. When you say HD I'll presume you mean High Definition as apposed to Hard Disk. Yes when you transfer footage from a mini DV camera the only way to do it is in real time. The trend in more modern cameras is to record on solid states drives (memory cards) which is a quicker transfer but just use the time when down loading from the mini DV to plan your editing.

    I would recommend sticking with the camera you have now for your trip around the world. If you try and move to HD you will then have to upgrade your computers equipment so it can cope with the larger files with so much more data it has to process. I presume you have a lap top that you use this would be no good at all for HD editing. You would need a new Quad Core level PC to cope with HD footage, not the sort of thing that is in keeping with the spirit of your journey.

    Go with Sony Vegas it does all that you want it has many presets as you describe them you can also make your own presets to help you work faster.

    On the point of recording sound you need a good microphone to get a good sound a $5 mic will sound like a $5 mic. As Tim suggested you could use the camera to record your voice overs, this would be better than a $5 mic. Or just buy the best you can afford.

    It's alway best to use the highest settings when capturing to get the best quality you can for editing even though the files may be big. You can always compress them later if you want to.

    Don't get confused about bit rates. You will need about 8Mb bit rate with a resolution of 720 x 576 for PAL and 720 x 480 for NTSC for a good quality DVD which should be rendered in an MPEG2 format.

    This will give you a good quality DVD.

    The other points in your post will be better dealt with by someone more qualified in those areas. I would recommend doing a search on this forum as there are answers about every aspect of video making already answered.

    Good luck with your trip around the world.

  8. Default

    Hi Midnight Blue and thanks for your respond,

    when I say HD i am talking about Hard Drive as for High Definition I used the word HDV.

    So far I have only been CAPTURING my MINI DV with the old Windows Movie Maker, which allowed me to select from a different range of quality captures:

    • full video high quality
    • DV quality
    • best quality recommended
    • and so on

    The videos made and posted here are all captured with WMM with the settings full video high quality which has a 640 x 480 size and one hour video takes 1.2 GB.

    I thought it was good until I realized that not even on youtube it is shown as HIGH DEFINITION.

    Now that I have downloaded a trial version of Vegas 9 and Sound Forge Pro trial, I would like to know which one out of all, is the best CAPTURING SOFTWARE that let me capture my MINI DV with the best wuality and size I need to

    • edit this movie
    • make a dvd quality movie out of it

    If vegas does capture mi mini dv, which are the setting you recommend me to capture my mini dv with?

    About my camera, this real time capturing is starting to give me hard time, considering I have now more than 60 hours of mini dv to capture, store and work on.

    Maybe a HD (hard drive) camera would be a little bit better for such amount of recorded hours? Does quality decrease a lot with HD cameras?

    I got my self a new laptop (an asus 1201N with a dual core processor and as NVIDIA ION graphic )... do I still need an upgrade to work with HD camera's recordings?

    Got my self Vegas Movie Stodio HD, which is a trial but seemed to be the best ever released... and I am trying to do an HDV movie so the name says it all.

    Ok for the camera mic and for a better investment. If i am lucky I might get permission from a local tv station to let me use their microphone room and read and record the narration of the new movie in there.

    Maybe i will pay them something.


    So does the video size has to do with the quality I need for a DVD?

    If WMM can only capture in 720 x 576 but vegas can capture in a bigger size, shell I chose the bigger size even though it's a bigger file to storage?

    Thanks again to everyone and hope to read you soon.


  9. #9


    I'll try to answer what I think your point was, you don't have to ask all your questions at the same time, as this can become confusing for others who read the posts later on.

    The footage you have shot is not high definition video. You therefore you would not benefit from trying to capture it in any higher definition than the original footage. Sony Vegas will be better at capturing than WMM. So in the Sony Vegas program when you click on capture, just select DV. This will capture your footage in a way that is "lossless" ie as good as is on the Mini DV tape.

    If you are daunted by capturing 60 mins in one go, then just stop it at any point say for example 20 mins. You could then work on this and come back and capture another 20 mins later, or you could do may be 3 lots of 20 mins in one go. You can set Sony Capture to split the footage into short clip which would make it easier for editing. Just have a look at the preferences and set them to how you would like to work.

    Do not set the project properties in Sony Vegas any higher than you capture your footage at. I don't know if you have a PAL camera or a NTSC camera. So depending on that you would set the project properties at a resolution of 720 x 576 for PAL and 720 x 480 for NTSC. You do not get better quality image by setting them higher if the original footage is not HDV.

    I would advise against a HD camera as the compression used is not so good.

    You are luck if you can use your local TV studio to record the voice over this will give your DVD a real professional feel.

    When you have finished editing the footage and you want advice on the rendering just post another question in the forum. people here are happy to help.

  10. Default

    Hi Midnight blue,

    while waiting for your reply I tried Sony Vegas capture feat.

    I realized that sony vegas capture too in 720 x something, but it has a audio problem which WMM capture feat doesn't have.

    With a MINI DV is 720 pixel the best I can get?

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